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Sean O’Hanlon and Irela Bagué Talk About Sustainability – Only In Miami Show, Ep. 68

17 March 2015

Episode 68 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured an interview with sustainability expert Sean O’Hanlon who talked about the challenges facing South Florida due to sea level rise. He also talked about power issues, including the vulnerability of the power grid in South Florida, and presented the concept of micro-grids as a solution to improve reliability.

Florida governor Rick Scott was also featured in a pre-recorded interview which was recorded at the announcement by Major League Baseball that Marlins Park would host the 2017 All-Star Game. In light of the recent allegations of pressure the Scott administration applied to oust the former director of the FDLE, Grant asked if the governor would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations. Predictably, Governor Scott sidestepped the issue and declined to answer the question.

We were also joined by Irela Bagué, the chair of the Sustainability, Environment, and Energy committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. She talked about daily impacts that can be felt from the failure to address environmental concerns. She also talked about some of the changes that might need to take place to sustain our community for the future.

In the second hour, Grant was joined by Karla Campos. They talked about Sunday’s Calle Ocho festival, which is one of the largest block parties in the country. If you missed the fun, you can view some photos of the event here.

Finally, Drastic Fanatic joined the show to talk sports, including the impacts that might be felt in the AFC East due to all of the recent NFL free agent transactions. He and Grant also talked about the playoff possibilities for the Miami Heat and whether the Heat need to add any pieces to the roster for next season to compete again for an NBA title.

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Rick Scott Must Face Music for FDLE Head Dismissal

29 January 2015

Rick Scott Must Face Music for FDLE Head Dismissal


In December, Florida Governor Rick Scott unilaterally demanded the resignation or retirement of Gerald Bailey, the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, whose office is tasked with government oversight. The dismissal may have been in retaliation for investigations into the dealings of the Governor’s office that may have broken the law. The position of FDLE reports to the elected cabinet, and this week, the heat on Rick Scott escalated, as some members of the elected cabinet, namely Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam began calling for a thorough investigation of the situation. All Florida citizens are urged to contact their government officials and demand transparent government and accountability for Rick Scott

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Hold Governor Rick Scott Accountable for Ousting FDLE Head Gerald Bailey

21 January 2015

Hold Governor Rick Scott Accountable for Ousting FDLE Head Gerald Bailey

With Florida Governor Rick Scott, it sometimes seems like the motto is, “Another day, another scandal.”

Just days into his second term as governor, new details have emerged regarding the recent resignation of Gerald Bailey, head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). While Rick Scott expressed remorse at the time over Bailey’s departure, it has since come to light that Rick Scott may have applied significant pressure to Bailey to retire or resign.

A governor surely should be able to pick those with whom he works; however, in this case, it appears that the reason why Scott sought Bailey’s ouster had more to do with Bailey’s investigations into the Scott administration than personal differences of opinion. It seems that Scott, displeased with anyone looking into the actions of his office, sought to terminate any investigation by decapitating the FDLE.

This scandal, in which details are still emerging, confirms the idea that citizen’s must be vigilant and engaged in their government, holding leaders like Rick Scott accountable for their actions.

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Democracy belongs to those who show up

8 October 2014

Democracy belongs to those who show up

The below column was contributed by Juan Cuba, also featured in the below podcast from episode 44 of the Only in Miami Show.

The millennial generation is fed up with politics.

We came of voting age during the Iraq war, Great Recession, Tea Party, Occupy movement, and we have seen our hopes held hostage by hyper-partisan politics.

If our generation could speak, it would let out a collective sigh.

So why even bother voting?

Simple.

Miami Dade Democrats running for Florida State office

Carlos Periera, Omar Rivero and Juan Cuba are all candidates on the 2014 ballot for Florida House of Representatives in Miami-Dade County. Annette Taddeo is running for Florida Lt. Governor with Charlie Crist.

Democracy belongs to those who show up.

Changing our politics will be difficult and often frustrating, but it is absolutely necessary. And it starts with showing up for every election, and this year we have the opportunity to get rid of one of the worst Governor’s in Florida’s history.

This is what’s at stake:

  1. Higher Education

Even though Florida had a $1.2 billion budget surplus this year, Rick Scott still cut Bright Futures, a scholarship program funded by the Florida Lottery. The program helps thousands of hard working high school students afford college every year. Under Rick Scott, the program has been gutted.

Sixty percent of incoming freshman at Florida International University would have qualified for Bright Futures but now under Scott’s new rules they will not receive the scholarship.

If Germany just made college tuition-free for the entire country, why can’t we at least make it affordable here? We can do this.

  1. Sea Level Rise

Rick Scott famously responded to a question on climate change by saying “I’m not a scientist”. Well, I’m not either, but I’m going to agree with the 98% of scientists who are urging our leaders pull their heads out of the sand.

As I write, Miami Beach is on high alert because of the incoming “King Tide” that is expected to add a foot of water on the streets. We must start mitigating the threat of sea level rise today and confront the problem not with skepticism, but with the full force of our ingenuity.

 

  1. Minimum wage

In Florida, a person working full-time year round on the minimum wage still lives in poverty. Yet, Rick Scott says the very idea of raising the minimum wage “makes him cringe”.

Republicans think that raising the wage will collapse the economy. Fortunately, some states have already takes steps toward a living wage of $10.10 and job growth didn’t implode. In fact, they’re experiencing above average job growth. That’s because when working people have more money in their pockets they inject back into the local economy.

  1. Women’s Health

This is very straightforward. Politicians should never make decisions about a woman’s body, yet they claim to have the moral authority to do so. Extreme politicians have even waged war on most forms of birth control, limiting women’s access every chance they get. Millennials know there is no place for politics in the medical decisions a woman makes for herself.

  1. Love is Love

It’s 2014. Yet, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Rick Scott contend that allowing same-sex couples to marry would ruin the sanctity of marriage. Millennials know love is love, and that this should be a non-issue. Fortunately, the ACLU and LGBT advocacy community have sued the state of Florida and they are winning this fight through the court system.

  1. Health Care

Right now, Republicans in Tallahassee are holding hostage $51 billion in federal funding that would expand the Medicaid program and help one million Floridians get health insurance. The federal government would pay 100% of this expansion for the first three years, and then pay no less than 90% of the expansion afterward. That sounds like a pretty good deal.

Not expanding Medicaid is not only immoral, but also a missed economic opportunity since the extra cash flow into health care is expected to create 70,000 well-paid jobs.

  1. Right to vote

Republicans have made a national effort to make it harder for young people, African Americans and Latinos to vote. In Florida, not only has Rick Scott purged voter rolls on multiple occasions, mostly targeting urban centers, but he also implemented one of the most restrictive voter registration laws in the entire country.

Check out Florida Lt. Governor candidate Annette Taddeo’s comments on voting in minute 10 of this podcast:

In 2012, Republicans decided to propose 11 lengthy constitutional amendments to put on the ballot and simultaneously slashed early voting hours leading to the longest-ever lines during Early Vote and on Election Day. What are they afraid of?

We are a generation of doers, makers, problem solvers. We are fed up, and that’s exactly why we must show up this November 4th

We urge you to make sure your voice heard and share the reasons you support Democrats this Fall with the hashtag #BluePartyVote. For those of you in Miami, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party is hosting a get-out-the-vote rally at Grand Central on Monday, November 3rd at 6pm. The event is free, but RSVP is required.

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Written by Juan Cuba, Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.

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Voting information:

Early Voting starts as early as Monday, October 20th. Check with your supervisor of election on dates, times, and locations. You can also vote-by-mail by requesting a ballot from your supervisor. Election Day is on November 4th and polls are open from 7am to 7pm. If you have questions about voting, please call the voter action hotline at 844-FL-VOTES (844-358-6837)

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Interview with Florida Lt. Governor candidate Annette Taddeo

26 August 2014

Charlie Crist & Annette Taddeo

Democratic Governor candidate Charlie Crist & Lt. Gov. candidate Annette Taddeo are competing in the August 26th primary to achieve their party’s nomination for the 2014 Florida Governor’s race to face the unpopular incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott

Episode 36 of the Only in Miami Show hosted by Grant Stern features an interview with former Miami-Dade County Democratic Party Chairman Annette Taddeo

Annette Taddeo recently accepted the nomination to run for Lt. Governor of Florida as running mate to former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.  As county party chairwoman, she fought for better Precincts in Miami and is an experienced voting rights acitivist.  Previously, she challenged entrenched incumbent Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in southwest Miami-Dade.

Our interview covered a wide range of topics including the upcoming Medical Marijuana vote, Governor Rick Scott’s controversial decision to allow FPL to build above ground high-voltage transmission lines that run through multiple Miami communities like Pinecrest and Coral Gables and more.  Our wide ranging interview also delved into Annette’s early political experiences, her translation business LanguageSpeak and delves into her reasons for seeking public office.

She and Mr. Crist intend to “give the Governor’s mansion back to the people” rather than Tallahassee special interests.  You can what with her on twitter @annette_taddeo which she uses personally.

Her ticket’s main issue is Florida’s once proud, but now under-funded education system because “it’s gotten to an extreme, we’re just teaching to a test rather than listening to parents or teachers.”  The Democratic Gubernatorial Primary happens this Tuesday, August 26th and early voting is open today.

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